Although fitness trackers play a major role, an older gadget may be a better help if you want to achieve your fitness goals: a heart in the chest strap rate tracker. They are cheaper, more accurate and rarely require a battery replacement.
These are more niche athlete gadgets that are not easy to find on the shelves of Best Buy or Academy. But for those who want a simple and effective way to get super-accurate heart rate data, they can't be beat. We have selected the best on the market.
The best overall chest HR tracker: Wahoo TICKR
For anyone who wants to make the switch to a chest strap without breaking the bank, the Wahoo TICKR is the best option. This super-simple tracker works for months (or even years) on a cheap watch battery and connects to most training equipment via the ANT + wireless standard, with Bluetooth available as a backup for most training apps for phones. (Wahoo makes its own app, but the tracker works with almost any app that supports external hardware.)
The simple hardware and the adjustable, adjustable strap are virtually infallible. It helps that it is small: the inconspicuous tracker fits easily under even tight training clothing. You can't do better for an accurate, no-frills upgrade.
The most accurate breast HR tracker: Polar H10
Runners and cyclists love the Polar H10, thanks to the measurement accuracy that consistently beats the competition. The electrocardiogram sensor, the watertight design and the dual Bluetooth and ANT + connectivity (both at the same time if you need it) means it can be used in almost any situation.
The user-replaceable battery has a usage time of 400 hours, and it can save a training session in local memory if you do not have your phone or tracking gadget handy. It also works on the semi-private 5 Khz "Gymlink" wireless standard. And yes, despite the Polar branding, the H10 likes to work with third-party apps.
A premium alternative breast HR Tracker: Garmin HRM series
Polar is perhaps the go-to-pick , but training enthusiasts who are committed to a particular training style may also want to see the Garmin flagship. The HRM is available in three premium variants: HRM-Run, HRM-Swim and HRM-Tri, with design choices balanced for runners, swimmers and triathlon athletes respectively.
For example, the HRM-Run uses motion detection to guess your cadence and stride length, while the HRM-Swim has a somewhat "sticky" strap that doesn't slip off your torso after an hour in the pool and its body is resistant against chlorine corrosion by swimming pool water. The HRM-Tri is smaller for mounting under a tri-suit and follows both running and swimming data.
These variants are more expensive than the H10 and have a slightly greater drift in their heart rate detection. They also do not have wireless Bluetooth, so your phone must support ANT + if you want to use it as a training partner. But the extra data can be worth it if you want to make improvements to those very specific statistics.
Best Alternative Chest HR Tracker
Garmin Garmin HRM-Run
Garmin HRM-Run, HRM-Swim, and HRM-Tri-trackers offer specific functions for athletes who are focused on one discipline.